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confessions and contemplations of a working mommy....

Vacation...or more work?

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By doccarrie · August 18, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

You're here...but I've moved!!

 

Read my latest post at www.thedoctormom.com

 

Follow me or sign up for emails.  See you there!

 

 

Professional Parent?

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By doccarrie · August 8, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


Want to read my latest post...Professional Parent?...

Then come on...get with the program...I've moved to...

www.thedoctormom.com

See you there!

I have an Avatar...Who is she?

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By doccarrie · August 2, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

What are you still doing here??

I've moved to:

www.thedoctormom.com


This marks the first post at my new 'virtual' home.  No fleeting moments of sadness with this move though.  One of my links is "meet the doctor" and should be easy to write but every time I sit down to define myself on paper, I can't get the words out right.  Make of that what you will.  Now that I have this fancy home, I'm having a severe case of bloggers block.  How typical.

Anyway, now that I have an avatar I feel like a superhero.   But who is this mysterious supermommy?  Does she have her own identity as well?  Well, like me, she is a person still in development.  On an endless quest for perfection.  She may not be able to fly, but I bet she could make dinner and do the dishes blindfolded.  This avatar is a slightly more put together, more polished and possibly a more sophisticated version of myself.  Awesome.  I already want to be her, and my husband may want to marry her. 

I came across this article, "I tweet, therefore I am" through a friends link on facebook and thought it was quite timely with the launch of the new website.  One writer's opinion on how social media is shaping our lives. 

So, how true is our 'virtual' self to our real self?  Are they always going to be a slightly better version of our real selves because we are "playing to our audience"?  Is that ok?  How much of our internal dialogue should be shared before it is too much?  Is there even such a thing as an introvert anymore?

I'm new to twitter but I am at high risk of becoming addicted.  The risk factors are obvious.  Iphone attached to my person, avid facebook user and newbie blogger.  Risk score approaching 100% if I can figure it out.  Apparently, I am not the only one if there are 55 MILLION tweets a day.  That is just insane.

If you are at all into social networking you surely can relate to this.  You may be in the middle of a vacation, having a perfect moment of happiness and suddenly have the urge to share this with others.  After all, posting your memories makes them permanent.  Seals them in cyberspace.  And may give you some conversation piece upon your return.  Even intimate moments can be shared to others likings (no dislike available yet, but I'm sure its soon to come).  Your facebook status updates and tweets can serve as a sort of portable journal of your life, if you let it.  The question is, should you let it? 

It is obvious what these social networks have set out to do. They want to strengthen our connections to other people, because, connections, after all, are what provide meaning in our lives.  Finding a friend that you haven't seen in 10 years is exciting, but after you catch up, they may not want to know about the temper tantrum your 2 year old had this morning.  But, if they don't want to know and don't share themselves, then they shouldn't be looking. (you know the facebook voyeur type).

The Doctor Mom is my super hero avatar.  She is pretty and skinny and eats whatever she wants without having to workout.  She wakes up early to clean the house, and makes a healthy, homemade breakfast by 7 am with makeup on.   She folds laundry perfectly, and never gets mad at her kids.  She works, blogs and takes care of the kids without breaking a sweat.  Oh, and she doesn't drink coffee or diet coke.  She is part of me, just (clearly) not all of me. And she is the author of this blog.  She is the side of me I want to share, and the part you would want to see.

So if you don't like it, I'll give you her email, and you can surely complain to her.  I'm sure she won't mind a bit.

_____________________________________________

  • Do you think there should be accepted "rules" for social networks?
  • How often do you 'tweet' or update your status?
  • What is the most annoying TYPE of facebook user? (no names please!)

 

Filed in: blogging

This Mommy got a Makeover...

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By doccarrie · July 30, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

It's true...

Unfortunately, though....mine did NOT involve silicone.

I am excited to announce an upgrade to my 'virtual' home....my blog is moving to...

www.thedoctormom.com

Same content, only professionally decorated and easier to use.  Please visit, and often.  Oh, and tell your friends too because nothing says you're awesome like a referral.  And I need a morale booster.

Commenting should be easy, so now you have no excuse but to join in on my one sided conversation.  Feel free to 'follow me' through google or to have new posts emailed to you.  I'm on twitter too now, @thedrmom, but have no idea how to use it.  Follow me (if you're bored) and send me some instructions on how to use twitter because I'm a novice.

I hope you'll check it out.  Let me know if you like it as much as I do.

See you there!


 

PS.  My 'surgeon' is my new friend and blog designer Courtney (aka Judith Shakespeare) who does great work with a fabulous southern accent.  Check her out here.

Lazy and unmotivated.

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By doccarrie · July 26, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Its Monday morning.  Everyone in my office asks me if I had a nice weekend.  I did.  But I need another weekend to recover from it.  2 days is not enough time to:

  • organize the house
  • clean out the closets
  • hang up pictures
  • work
  • keep children from killing each other
  • go to the grocery store
  • catch up on sleep
  • clear out my DVR (by watching endless hours of TV)
  • blog
  • mail out birthday invitations
  • try to make it to the nordstrom sale so I can pay a little less money for stuff that costs way too much
  • think about how I should make dinner more often
  • exercise
  • do the laundry
  • do the dishes
  • do everything in my power to foster my ZEN world....um, yeah...no!

 

So, that's all I have to say today.  Please let me know if you are aware of an app that can take care of some of these things so I can nap.  Oh, and it would be better if it was free.

Happy Monday!

A break from the routine?

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By doccarrie · July 23, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I don't love hot, but I love summer.  There are so many more options for good, child friendly daytime activities.  On the flip side, however, summer really messes with my kids schedules.  They go to sleep late, they wake up late and mealtimes occasionally seem optional.  Not the best combination for this mommy who craves routine, but I'm rolling with it.

Last night, I came home to my babysitter playing with the girls outside in the sprinkler after they had dinner. We brought them in, showered them and then I gave them a special dessert treat.  I planned to do a video then bed. Sounds perfect (to me).  My husband came home and I took a shower.  He had not eaten dinner.  And, in those 5 short minutes while I was in the shower they, somehow, manipulated him into believing that they were hungry and needed him to make them a fresh pot of mac and cheese.  At 8:30 pm.  After dinner, dessert and part of my dinner.  Really?!?!?

I understand both sides of the issue.  Telling them no will lead to much whining and distress.  And then will turn into 2 children claiming they are hungry when they are in bed.  But, I side more with order.  They had their chance at eating.  They don't need another meal.  They are just manipulating their Daddy to stay up later.  Beyond obvious to this well seasoned Mommy of 2 Master Manipulators.

But, I got to thinking about routines.  I am good with routines.  I need order in the midst of my chaos.  My husband, not so much.  This is a frequent point of contention in our approach to parenting.  Our children are so scheduled throughout the year, is it "ok" to veer from the routine in the summer, on vacation, on the weekend?  Will they understand that this is a treat and will not last forever?  Or will they not settle back into routine when that time comes?

There is no right or wrong answer to these issues.  And that is the problem.  If I 'go with the flow' maybe my children will be more maleable, more easy going, more like my hubby.  I love that.  If I press on about schedules and bedtimes and planned activities they may be more type 'A'.  More stressed out, more conflicted.  More like mommy.

Or maybe, just maybe, neither one of us will 'win' and these (so far) perfect creatures will fall somewhere in the middle.  A combination of the two of us.  Better than their individual parts.  And that would, indeed, be perfect.

________________________________________________

Do you veer from schedules on vacations or on weekends?  Do you find it hard to get back on track?

How do your children manipulate you?

Do you dig mac & cheese as much as I do?

Filed in: mommyhood

Creative Advertising

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By doccarrie · July 13, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I love this video and I NEED  this car seat.  Oh, how I dream of a car seat that I could take in and out without sweating.  When did it come to this?

Enjoy!

All Joy, No Fun??

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By doccarrie · July 12, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Yesterday, in some sort of momentary lapse of sanity, I agreed to go to a minor league baseball game in Toledo, Ohio.  Why would anyone do this?

A.  I don't know.

B.  My husband is a huge baseball fan and always is asking to go and he convinced me the girls would like it.  Oh, and Wubbzy would be there.  And there is  a certain little toddler who loves that cartoon.

So, we drove the 1.5 hours to a minor league ball park when we were offered tickets to the major league game playing in our hometown that same day.  Kids slept in the car, then there was whining and singing and videos.  When we arrived it started to rain, actually downpour.  A certain little toddler was TERRIFIED of her cartoon hero.  It stopped raining.  Then it was hot.  Impossibly hot.  And then the whining really began.  Basically until bedtime.  We stayed at the game for 1 inning.

But that is actually not the point of this post.  I came home thinking about parenting and realize that much of the time it is stressful.  And sometimes unrewarding.  And I thought about how to write about this topic.

Then, alas, I realized that I am not alone.  I stumbled upon this article in New York magazine from last week.  Titled "All Joy, No Fun."  Is that true?

I highly recommend you read the article.  But, I will give my quick synopsis and commentary here.

The point of the article is to debunk the myth that children make people happier.  Apparently, according to studies, the opposite is true.  Well, its not that they make you less happy, it's just that they don't make you more happy.  And that each successive child produces diminishing returns (don't tell my husband this).

They go on to describe that some of this is a new phenomenon, becoming more pervasive with the advent of modern technology and changing family structures.  Middle and upper class parents see children as projects to be perfected.  Part of this unhappiness may be due to the fact that many educated professionals postpone their childbearing in pursuit of a career.  And they see having kids as a loss of freedom. "Now you know what you are giving up", and the longer you wait, the greater the expectations.  These are the same parents who are used to reward and over achievement.  The problem is that child rearing is unlike school or career, and there is no black/white right/wrong distinction.  There are many different ways to achieve the same end result (goal: happy, self confident, self sufficient child) which does not become evident for decades down the road.  There are no promotions, no bonuses for good parenting, and the only measure of how you are doing is comparison to others around you.  We see other moms that may seem as if they have it all together; appear fit, well rested, organized and masters of sleep training, and we feel, well, insecure.  This breeds more unhappiness...and the cycle continues.

Now, onto couples.  Do children make a marriage stronger, better?  According to the experts, couples pay the biggest price.  They say that about 40% of most couples' fights are DIRECTLY about the children, and that does not include those that are from tired, short fused people losing it for no reason.  (I've never experienced this, no, not me.)  The good news is that many relationships improve when kids are a bit older, 6-12 years, only to take a harder hit during the teen years.

My favorite quote in the article is this which pretty much sums up my life: "When you pause to think about what children mean to you, of course they make you feel good...The problem is 95% of the time you're not thinking about what they mean to you.  You're thinking that you have to take them to piano lessons."  Children provide little moment to moment happiness but make the retrospective evaluation of life complete.  However, the trick of memory is that even the previous mundane activities with children seem nostalgic in retrospect, leaving us feeling that parenting is, indeed, rewarding.

So, basically...Loving one's children and loving parenting are two totally different things.  If there are times where you are at a baseball game in the humid heat and rain with a toddler who just lost her hot dog and a preschooler who won't stop whining for cotton candy and you admit that you don't love that moment or every moment of parenting, its ok.  Neither do most parents.  And you can still relish the unrivaled moments of joy that these little creatures provide.  Just realize that is only a small portion of your time.  Parenting, like everything else, is work; just with a greater reward.

____________

Do you find parenting rewarding?  How do you reconcile the everyday frustrations with the overall reward?

What do you do when your children whine for hours?

 

Filed in: mommyhood

Big Girl, Big World...

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By doccarrie · July 9, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

There are many moments in the story of our childrens' lives that we mark.  Birthdays, first steps, first words; and with each milestone comes pride and celebration.  We mark the moments with pictures and notes to remember, to try to control this runaway train called time.

This week my "baby" reached one of these milestones.  She seemlessly transitioned from her 'cribby' to her new big girl bed.  Her mommy may have lost a little sleep worrying about how she would handle the change, but she was just fine.  Of course she was.  Its only a bed.  But she did great.  A little more snuggling was in order, but the next morning when she woke she was so proud.

Instead of the usual cries for "Daddy...Daddy" there was a different call.  "I'm a BIG GIRL Mommy!" she insisted.

...And she is :(

Filed in: mommyhood

The Family Historian...

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By doccarrie · June 30, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

You may know that I love being a mom (well, most of the time).  And I even enjoy most of the work that goes along with it.  I like making plans, arranging playdates, picking out clothes, and taking pictures of the happy fruits of my labor.  In fact, just like most moms, I document everything with my camera(s) trying to capture every moment so I won't forget even the minutia.  So, I have appointed myself to this job of FAMILY HISTORIAN.

There are some perks to the job.  I am in control of the camera and I know that I won't miss any important moments.  I am constantly working to improve my photography skills and my 2 adorable muses make that job easy.  I am not in many of the pictures which is both good and bad, however, at least I can make sure I look relatively beautiful (ha!) in all those photos released to the press (aka family and friends).

But there are 2 major drawbacks.

1.  I worry (because I worry about everything) that I spend too much time "behind the lens".  Am I too focused on documenting the moment that I miss "living in the moment?"  I think this plagues many moms with constant access to technology.  I don't question if I should record something but how.  Should I do video or snapshots?  Iphone, flip or HD movie camera?  Small digital camera or SLR? Ahh...the perils of the digital world.

2.  And this is the big one...I LOVE taking the pictures.  I HATE figuring out what to do with them.  Here's my most current itemized list of what needs to be done with pictures...you may begin to see why this is the most stressful part of my mommy job.

  1. Take the pictures.  Good, done.  Got that one covered.
  2. Upload pictures to my computer.
  3. Go through said pictures eliminating blurry photos, editing and cropping others.
  4. Add photo titles to attempt to make some sense of the place and time and get rid of the IMG_8798920 in every picture.
  5. Organize on the computer into albums.
  6. Upload to photo website so I can actually attempt to get the photos at some point.
  7. Edit albums so my friends and family don't complain that I sent 100 of the same pictures of my kids tushies.
  8. Share albums.
  9. Consider cherry picking the BEST images for facebook and post (sometimes I may skip this step), email individual photos to grandparents, other moms, husband, self so photos will be on their computer, phone or ipad if needed.
  10. Add the album to the other 10+ albums in my inbox that I need to do something about.
  11. Keep albums in the inbox until they reach critical mass and I start losing sleep at night about not documenting my kid's childhoods and worrying that they will have no pictures for their wedding videos.
  12. Wake up in the middle of one of those nights and order ALL pictures from ALL albums (because that is easier) and figure out how to find a coupon to pay for my order of almost 800 pictures.
  13. Pray the order doesn't come soon because I still haven't put the last 800 pictures in albums.
  14. Receive pictures.  Stash in basement.  Lose sleep again.  Stress about albums.  Buy more albums because I don't have enough space.  Continue to stress about putting pictures in albums.....

...It never stops.  Eventually I will put them away.  I know it.  But there has to be a better way.

I am faced with so many options now that I am ready to throw in the towel.  Please help.  Send me your stories.  Tell me your system.  Am I the only one who is tormented by this?  There must be a support group for me....

Filed in: mommyhood

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